THE battle between two 41-year-olds could play a key part in Durham's match against Kent, starting at Emirates Riverside today.

Both are in fine form with Paul Collingwood hitting 177 against Derbyshire last week, while Kent’s Darren Stevens took a career-best eight for 75 in the rain-ruined stalemate against bottom side Leicestershire.

That result virtually ended Kent's promotion hopes as they haven't won since a 147-run victory over Sussex at Tunbridge Wells in late May.

When Durham went to Canterbury, Collingwood scored 120 and 51 not out, while Stevens took five for 78 in the first innings.

Kent hung on for a draw with nine wickets down as Durham were defied by ex-teammate Mitch Claydon with an unbeaten 21.

It was a stage of the season when injuries had forced Durham to select Scotsman Gavin Main for the first time for three years. He has not featured since because of injury and is reported to be contemplating quitting the game.

Paul Coughlin's side strain, plus Barry McCarthy's broken thumb and the latest in a long line of Brydon Carse injuries mean resources continue to be stretched.

But Mark Wood is fit to return and James Weighell is in the squad. After the promise he showed last season, when he took nine wickets in the win at Edgbaston, he has made only two championship appearances this year. He could come in to give 18-year-old Matthew Potts a rest.

Kent have strengthened their bowling options by signing Australian all-rounder Grant Stewart. He has impressed in Kent's second team and holds an EU passport, courtesy of his Italian mother.